The footage, shot by a passerby and shared on Facebook by the group Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley, shows three officers restraining the man outside of Sacred Heart Campus of St. Luke’s Hospital.
An officer in the 26-second clip is shown using his elbow to restrain the man before placing his knee on his neck, a maneuver reminiscent of the one that killed George Floyd in Minneapolis.
In a statement announcing the investigation, Allentown police said the man in the video was spotted by cops staggering and vomiting outside the hospital’s emergency room.
The officers, who had been at the hospital for an unrelated matter, tried to interact with the man, but he yelled and spit at them, police said.
The statement released by cops said the man was “non-compliant, which required officers to restrain” him.
It’s unclear how long the police officer had his knee on the man’s neck.
The department recently released its use of force policy in response to the police-involved killing of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 8 minutes.
The Allentown Police Department policy prohibits neck restraints and chokeholds and says that officers should only use the amount of force necessary to control the situation.
The incident sparked a rally outside of the Allentown police station later Saturday night, which was organized by the group that posted the video to Facebook.
Police said the man was treated at the hospital and released after the incident.
With Post wires